Academy Award winner Geena Davis, who starred in cult classic Thelma & Louise, will speak at an Auckland summit promoting representation and inclusion in entertainment.

Davis, a longstanding advocate for gender parity in the entertainment and media industry, is one of more than 35 international and local history makers taking part in The Power of Inclusion summit.

New Zealand Film Commission CEO Annabelle Sheehan said it was an honour to welcome Davis to the summit.

"Her body of work and her activism are an inspiration."


The summit, running over October 3 and 4, will present a programme on pertinent issues in the inclusion and representation space in entertainment.

Davis founded the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media at Mount Saint Mary's University in 2004, after being stunned by the lack of female representation on screen as well as negative stereotypes.

"The Power of Inclusion hosts a ground-breaking line-up of entertainment sector speakers, of a depth and breadth not seen before in New Zealand and Australasia," Sheehan said.

"The siren call of the conference has attracted speakers from across the global screen industry and in New Zealand, whose activism and production work are inextricably linked to the core issues of diversity and inclusion.

"As an industry we have a responsibility to empower, to amplify and to focus on equity in front of and behind the camera."

The two-day summit will also feature activist Yara Shahidi - one of TIME magazine's annual 30 Most Influential Teens, actor Magda Szubanski (Kath & Kim, Babe) who is synonymous with marriage equality success in Australia, and Maria Giese, who instigated the largest industry-wide federal investigation for women directors in Hollywood history.

From Aotearoa/New Zealand speakers include Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, alongside filmmakers Niki Caro and Heperi Mita.

The summit will be hosted by the New Zealand Film Commission and Women in Film and Television International, with support from Walt Disney Studios.


Register online at